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Should the 'women and children first' rule still apply when a ship is sinking?

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    So, it's been 100 years since the Titanic sank and it's got me thinking. Is the 'women and children first' rule (which isn't always practiced or enforced when a ship is sinking anyway) outdated?

    Personally, it strikes me as kind of sexist- why should a woman's life be worth more than that of a man? Us girls are constantly complaining that we still aren't treated as complete equals to men, but surely things like this unwritten rule are hindering our achievement of equality?

    I know that if I were on board a sinking ship, I'd give up my space on a lifeboat for somebody else, but I wonder how many others actually would?

    Anyway, I'm just interested to know what you guys think; should it be every man for himself, the most vulnerable first or should the captain still order men to step aside for women and children?

    Discuss
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    No way.

    I'd be the first one to jump into the lifeboat.
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    It should be the ones who can contribute most to society that shall live.
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    It should be in this order:

    Women and Children
    Men
    Feminists
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    Its patronising for women, they want to be treated equally and they should be. As for children, well maybe there is a case for them because you can fit more of them in one life boat, but in general I think it should just be random or whoever is first in line/easiest to save because otherwise it'd just be too much hassle to go through a mass of people just to sieve out a specific group when its an emergency situation.
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    I don't think this rule is about a woman's life being worth more than a man's life. I think the logic used is the following.

    Firstly, it is human nature wanting to save children's lives since they have their whole lives ahead of them, obviously, and the mother is the most appropriate person to take care of them, hence the mother's life should also be saved.

    Secondly, women can reproduce and have other children if they are saved.

    I don't know if it's how it works but it probably is. Maybe in the past they also considered the idea that women were the "weak sex" and were less likely to survive a sinking ship than men, which doesn't normally apply nowadays.

    I personally believe children and their mothers should have preference, and after that, the ones who jump first in the lifeboat should be saved.
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    (Original post by hannaaahlima)
    I don't think this rule is about a woman's life being worth more than a man's life. I think the logic used is the following.

    Firstly, it is human nature wanting to save children's lives since they have their whole lives ahead of them, obviously, and the mother is the most appropriate person to take care of them, hence the mother's life should also be saved.

    Secondly, women can reproduce and have other children if they are saved.

    I don't know if it's how it works but it probably is. Maybe in the past they also considered the idea that women were the "weak sex" and were less likely to survive a sinking ship than men, which doesn't normally apply nowadays.
    Yes because a woman can reproduce without a man
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    I don't know but why would you give up your place on a life boat (unless it was for someone you really loved and wanted to save)?
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    I agree with children being first after all they are technically the future but then you need someone to raise those children but does a child need two parents or one parent?
    Cos then you are shoving the older generation and those that don't have children out of the lifeboats....
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    (Original post by internet tough guy)
    Its patronising for women, they want to be treated equally and they should be. As for children, well maybe there is a case for them because you can fit more of them in one life boat, but in general I think it should just be random or whoever is first in line/easiest to save because otherwise it'd just be too much hassle to go through a mass of people just to sieve out a specific group when its an emergency situation.


    Oh dear, someone is a little confused.
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    first come first served.




    (I'm so sorry fatties and disabled people)
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    I would like to think that modern ships are better equipped so that not as many people would die.. But.

    I do think women and children should go first. In the modern world, chances are there could be helicopters sent out to those without a lifeboat within an hour, and the simple fact remains that men are stronger than women and children as a general rule and therefore would be more likely to be able to survive until help arrived.

    It's not sexist, it's common sense to ensure the survival of the most people.
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    Am i the only woman not happy being viewed as 'Male 2.0'?
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    No. It's discrimination. Save the children, save the disabled, THEN everyone else AT THE SAME TIME. Equality has its negative sides too, you know.
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    I think they should keep families together where possible
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    Children maybe, as they would be more likely to die in the conditions. But men and women should be given equal priority.
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    (Original post by gagaslilmonsteruk)
    No. It's discrimination. Save the children, save the disabled, THEN everyone else AT THE SAME TIME. Equality has its negative sides too, you know.
    (Original post by orange'94)
    If Women want equal treatment when it comes to everything else it should be equal treatment here too.
    The problem is that not every woman does. I for one, think that there are fundamental differences between the sexes that will always be there and should not be glossed over. Reducing the difficulty of the fitness test for police so that more women can get on the force, for example, I do not agree with. I've seen one too many overweight puffed out policemen dragging their feet after a criminal sprinting away for this to make sense to me.

    I think men and women are of equal value but often of different value. On average, a woman is physically weaker than a man, so has a smaller chance of survival if put in the circumstances discussed. If I saw a frail/infirmed man standing next to me I like to think I'd let him get onto the lifeboat first. A 6ft strong-looking man, honestly, I'd get on first. I also think (at the risk of controversy) that although single fathers do a wonderful job, it is more important that a child has his/her mother.
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    (Original post by Playa10)
    Yes because a woman can reproduce without a man
    I'm not saying I agree with it.
    There are plenty of men for women to reproduce with when they reach earth, and yes there are ways by which women can reproduce without men. Artificial insemination is one of them.
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    Save the most vulnerable first. Children, (frail) elderly people, the disabled... a strong woman is more likely to survive the wait for help than a sick man.
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    I think the children should go first, but then obviously they can't go unattended. It was the obvious choice then, and still probably now that women (especially mothers of the children) should go first. Although I am admittedly a bit of a feminist and feel that classing women and children the same is slightly offensive, I can see why. However it cannot be denied that the majority of men are physically stronger than the majority of men and therefore more able to survive conditions of the north Atlantic. Clearly however, it should be the vulnerable who are prioritised, and that should not necessarily include women.

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Updated: May 1, 2012
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